Yippee weekend here and Cookie arriving tonight for her Sock Design class this weekend. Looking forward to it- we’ve got cakes and cookies for the hardworking designers in training, and hopefully will be able to find somewhere for a drink and some food after class (though with the chelsea game on at home on Sat we may need to venture a little further afield to escape the sea of blues).
We did the second Winebeerexpress Taste & Tweet last night with some yummy wines – Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc and a gorgeous Baron de Ley Rioja. I liked the Villa Maria – really easy summer drinking, but my fave was the Rioja (am a sucker for rioja!) I love that it has body but is nice and mellow – no hard edges – without being wussy. Very ‘my name is Inigo Montoya’ and all that.
Oh and something that made my knitting soul flush pink and dance around like a merry little fairy high on absinthe…. do you remember my Shur’tagal socks? Well, it was voted as this quarter’s KAL sock in the Socks that Rawk (STR fans) group on Ravelry. Darling muggles may wonder why this is a big deal – let me explain:
Firstly a KAL is an awesome thing – the power of a critical mass behind your creation, knitting it so that others see it and they also catch the bug and hopefully they will knit it too – so your wee little sock babe goes forth in the world to grow up and shod (or sockd?) new feet… but this KAL is a little different and is very dear to my socky heart – the KAL is specifically for Tina’s sock yarn Socks That Rock. Er, if you’ve seen my previous post you will know that I have an out of control addiction am a huge HUGE fan. So my sock being chosen for an STR KAl is just… cartwheels and wheelies and soaring through the air on a ray of sunshine comes close to describing my euphoria.
Secondlly, Socks That Rock, or STR as we socky knitters call it, has a gazillion colourways. Tina is a colour magician and truly does have a ton of colourways. What you see on her website is only a fraction of the colourways she has created and continues to create. She rotates them on and off the site so some get ‘rested’ while others enjoy the spotlight. The thing is, with so many colourways, and for us not in the US near a LYS that carries it, the only way to get it is to order it online – sight unseen bar the wee photo on the website.
Some genius socky soul thought up a KAL where everyone would knit the same sock, but in a different STR colourway so we could see how the different colourways knit up. Why is this genius I can hear you asking? Let me show you. When I order the yarn, the photo depicts the yarn skeined up like this:
Tina’s site also has a small thumbnail of the yarn with all the colours in the skein next to each other – not unlike how the colours mix when wound up into a yarn cake, like so:
Colours pretty yes? Any idea how it will look when knit up? Stripes of gold or flashes of it only? Ahem. You see the difficulty then.
Ths is where socky genius comes into its own: knit it up and that is when the olour magic happens. This is what happens (more or less, much depends on the size and gauge of the knitted item):
So you see the value of having a group of knitters knit up all the different colours using the same canvas – how it makes it so much less of a ‘close your eyes and hope for the best’ way of purchasing a yarn. You get to see how all the different skeins ‘grow up’ and how the colours interplay. I might never have thought I’d like the colourway above, Rainforest Jasper in Lightweight STR, if I hadn’t seen them in the flesh when I first met Stariel in Seattle last year. Fell in love with the colourway as soon as I saw them. Makes me think of the Rockies and the deep forest of Banff – jadeite with veins of gold quartz… purdy!
In the first quarter we did the Leyburn Sock – 213 people signed up to knit the sock. Pretty amazing. And here is a screen shot of all the different leyburns from page 1 of the KAL project thumbnails.
(Click on image to embiggen)
There are 8 more pages like this one! So at the end of Q2 KAL with the Shur’tagals, I’ll have the privilege and honour of seeing my wee socks knit up in a hundred or so colourways! haha and I’ll also be able to choose my STR colours more accurately. 🙂 How exciting is that? Oh and a head’s up – I’m updating the pattern and re-editing it for clarity – taking into consideration some comments from previous knitters of the sock. A new version will be available before the official start of the KAL. Will post more details here and on the pattern page at Ravelry. Stay tuned!